Merlin Pohler

Title awarding university: Leibniz University Hannover

Cooperation: Röchling Industrial SE & Co. KG

Title of the doctoral project: Development of a holistic product sustainability strategy with a focus on product Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) using the example of a plastics processing industrial company

Short description of the doctoral project: LCA is a methodical procedure in which the environmental impact of a product or process system is estimated. The information obtained in this way can serve as a basis for companies to communicate their current environmental sustainability situation. LCA is also suitable as a support for the optimization of processes and products, e.g. with regard to a company's own sustainability strategy with corresponding targets. In addition, as part of the "European Green Deal", more and more laws and regulations are currently coming into force at the European level that are intended to lead the continent to climate neutrality. In order to meet these legislative requirements, but also due to the increasing interest and demand of consumers in the sustainability of products, LCA is becoming more and more important as a tool, especially for manufacturing companies. For industrial companies, the implementation of a LCA strategy is a challenge, which requires new structures and approaches, e.g. in data acquisition. Up to now, larger companies in particular have relied on external help, such as consultants, to conduct and implement LCAs. However, there are increasing efforts to integrate LCA as a tool into in-house processes in the medium to long term.

Within the scope of the dissertation, a methodology is to be developed that enables manufacturing industrial companies to integrate LCA as a tool into existing corporate processes. Based on a case study, the methodology is to be developed and applied for the first time, taking into account real process structures within a manufacturing company in the plastics industry. The aim of the work is also to define the strategy and framework conditions for the internal development of an integrated and efficient use of LCA results in the environment of existing processes of an industrial company.

© Christian Wyrwa